Valley News Forum for Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023: Fed is a chaos agent

Published: 11-26-2023 4:32 PM

Federal Reserve is agent of chaos

Extreme economic inequality; inflation of food prices, of energy, health care, housing, stocks and bonds; the repeated irrational exuberance of ultra-low interest rates for too long; the decimated middle class; the leviathan federal government hanging itself in a noose of debt; a mad world in a tailspin of confusion; a (thus far) slow-motion crash; a thousand military bases all over the planet; a military empire, and wars, more wars, and world wars. All have been consequences of the Fed and its monopoly money of trillions of dollars from nothing, absolutely nothing. None of it, I repeat, none of it, would exist without the Fed. None of it could exist without the Fed — not in a stable, sound system of money.

In her Forum letter (“Give the Fed additional mandates”; Nov. 16) Phyllis Tilson Piotrow believes they should have even more power. She claims that the Fed is “an active and effective government agency.” Well ... they’re active and effective alright, especially at creating a monetary, financial, economic, political and social disaster. The mess we’re in now is because of the Fed. The Fed is the facilitator of crisis. The Fed is the problem and definitely not the solution. As Keynes once said, “there is ... no surer means of overturning the basis of society than to debauch the currency.” This system is unsustainable and will need to be reset. Historic periods of mayhem have always accompanied monetary disorder. We’re living in one now.

Neil Meliment


Beware the roundabout plan

I recently read about a plan to introduce a new roundabout at a problematic intersection (“Bad intersection getting roundabout”; Nov. 13). However, as a resident who is somewhat well-versed in Hartford affairs, I was disappointed not to have been informed about the meeting held regarding this matter. I’m sure it was posted somewhere, but I didn’t see it.

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Having previously served on the Hartford Selectboard, I’ve been a vocal critic of this proposed roundabout for several years. My opposition stems from practical reasons deeply rooted in my lifelong residency in Hartford, particularly along Route 4. The history of attempted solutions at this intersection, such as the installation and subsequent removal of a stoplight, illustrates significant challenges during winter. Trucks, especially, encountered difficulties stopping at a red light while descending the hill, leading to safety concerns. Moreover, vehicles faced uphill struggles, especially in slippery conditions, when stationary at the light.

My observation of roundabouts, mostly on flat terrain, contrasts with the proposed location on a hill. I anticipate similar issues arising with a roundabout. In contrast, a traffic light, if reinstated, could offer a flexible solution by potentially implementing a blinking system during slippery conditions, a strategy similar to Lebanon’s approach at the base of Seminary Hill.

The concern with a roundabout lies in its constant operation without the option to adapt to changing conditions. This lack of flexibility presents a substantial drawback compared to the potential adaptive nature of a traffic light system.

I have some other concerns, like all the incomplete state projects just south of this proposed roundabout. The state has been to put traffic lights near where it took out the interstate ramp and at the entrance to the VA, but neither has happened. Along with this they had plans to put a bike lane through Route 5 between Sykes Mountain Avenue and the VA, this is why the ramp was removed years ago.

The roundabout’s price tag of $6.1 million, plus $700,000 is also concerning.

Dennis L. Brown

White River Jct

Moved by music

A concert on Nov. 14 in Hanover earned a standing ovation for the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, its conductor and its guest violinist. They deserve high praise for their moving rendition of pieces by Britten, Vivaldi, and the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.

The usual venue for the orchestra, the Hopkins Center, is closed for renovations. But Rollins Chapel offered a uniquely warm atmosphere and excellent acoustics.

Conductor Filippo Ciabatti showed once again that he has succeeded in instilling a consistently high standard in his orchestra. Living in Europe and the United States has clearly enabled him to absorb the divergent moods and feelings of music from a variety of countries. The guest violinist, David Kim, is concertmaster of the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra. He played baroque and tango pieces and accurately reflected both the high-spirited and the melancholy strains of the music. The orchestra played with surprising richness while meeting the challenge posed by pieces from three divergent traditions.

Before the concert, Ciabatti enhanced the evening with an incisive and friendly talk on the subtleties of all three composers. He deserves thanks for taking the time to engage with members of his audience.

I wish I had the knowledge of a musicologist to explain more of the evening’s success. Suffice it to say that I and many other concertgoers owe all the musicians a vote of thanks for an outstanding performance.

H. Dean Brown

West Lebanon